Image: Millenial Mainstream Purchaser of Craft - by illustrator Rose Blake (detail)
The new Crafts Council’s Market for Craft Report reveals that our passion for craft has never been greater – 73% of UK adults had bought craft in 2019 – snapping up almost 25 million handcrafted objects. In a significant shift, almost a third (32%) of today’s buyers are aged under 35 – making this demographic the biggest buyer of craft today.
Image: Adventurer Craft Buyer by Rose Blake.
The report was implemented by the Crafts Council and its partners among 5,000 UK residents, 1,500 US citizens and 1,700 professional makers and implemented prior to the COVID pandemic. It has subsequently been layered with a further Crafts Council survey carried out among 573 UK-based makers post lockdown. The joint findings will be used by the Crafts Council to lobby the government and industry bodies to support the recovery of a creative sector which was predicted to generate over £3 billion for our economy in 2020.
The maturation of the craft market in the UK can be attributed to a number of wider trends that are likely to accelerate as a result of the pandemic – the rise of e-commerce, investment purchases over throwaway objects, and an interest in sustainability and supporting small businesses. 10.3m Brits are buying craft online - a figure that has more than tripled over the last decade.
Image: Craft Collector by Rose Blake.
The current pandemic has highlighted the growing craft trend – the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee has shifted to a prime-time BBC TV slot and attracts audiences of close to 5 million, and sellers of craft supplies for the domestic market are seeing a surge in sales. With 20% of British consumers indicating that they would pay to attend a craft workshop, it is no surprise that such a significant number of people are turning to online tutorials and craft kits to learn a new skill while they have more time at home.
The 100-page Market for Craft report will be made available via the Crafts Council website www.craftscouncil.org.uk.
Selvedge World Fair provides an opportunity to support the global craft sector by buying handmade textile goods from more than 100 artisans from 60 countries, attending workshops and talks. For more information visit Selvedge World Fair.